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September 27, 2010

Evading anti-virus using the GPU

This article is very interesting.

From the paper's abstract:

"Malware writers constantly seek new methods to obfuscate
their code so as to evade detection by virus scanners.
Two code-armoring techniques that pose significant challenges
to existing malicious-code detection and analysis
systems are unpacking and run-time polymorphism. In this
paper, we demonstrate how malware can increase its robustness
against detection by taking advantage of the ubiquitous
Graphics Processing Unit. We have designed and
implemented unpacking and run-time polymorphism for a
GPU, and tested them using existing graphics hardware. We
also discuss how upcoming GPU features can be utilized to
build even more robust, evasive, and functional malware."



September 17, 2010

Skyrider Seats. WTF?!?

Recently the Skyrider seat has gotten a bit of press.  It reduces the standard legroom on a domestic flight from 30 inches to 23 inches.   I am tall and have zero legroom on a standard coach seat and maybe 2 inches to spare on economy plus. 

airline torture chair. 

I swear I will boycott any airline that deploys this utter crap.



September 10, 2010

Bypassing Higher Education

Today the Washington Post had an interesting article on that state of college education in America.  The article goes through a ton of different subjects including the lack of return on investment, the amount of debt racked up, and the length of time it takes to get an undergraduate degree.  While some of these are valid points, all of these arguments don't look at the main reason we have a higher educational system: To Make Society Better.  Everything else is secondary.  There are no guarantees in this world except death and taxes.  Hopefully a higher education will give the student/graduate the skills needed to obtain a job and position in society, but it also requires individual initiative on the part of the graduate to make their place in the world.  It would be a sad world in which people didn't study education, anthropology, archeology or dead languages just because the money wasn't there when they graduate. 


(Photo Courtesy of dr. coop on Flickr)


September 03, 2010

Two Decades in IT

Last June was the anniversary of my twentieth year working in information technology.  I had been doing it so much earlier just for fun, so why not get paid for it?  From humble beginnings building PC XT clones from inexpensive Taiwanese parts in a Cupertino storefront, to working desktop support, managing IT departments and network engineering, it has been an interesting ride.  I have been blessed over the years with people who took chances on me, seeing potential in a young (read as cheap) and hard working employee. 


(Photo Courtesy of Alexandre Jorge on Flickr)

Based on my experience here are my recommendations to young folks just entering the workplace:

You don't have to take the first job you are offered, but don't hold out for some huge salary right out of school.

IT certifications may get you in the door, but you'll have to prove you skills at one point or another, so learn how to do your job! 

On the same page as the one above, your money is better spent finishing a degree than on ANY certification.  


If you are reading this and helped me out along the way:

Thank You!